The burning issue

Guru has finally come up with a New Year’s resolution. To whit, he plans to take the biggest news issue of the week and tell you exactly what he thinks about it – hopefully saying all the things you never can.

This week: incapacity benefit

The government has come out with a new Green Paper on incapacity benefit, and Guru is in a bit of a quandary as it’s monumentally difficult to make gags about this subject without much tutting and pointing of fingers. A joke he mooted about blind people stacking shelves under the new regime went down like a mercury-filled balloon.

Is this subject just too serious, or is the shoe so firmly welded on the other foot that it’s acceptable to make jokes about the people who are hard at work (as this column astutely does every week), but not OK to talk about the filthy malingerers who make up a large proportion of daytime TV viewers?

But then again, maybe they’re not all bad. Who else is going to keep up the sales of microwave meals and cheap cigarettes? This in turn helps low-paid workers eke out a living in factories and helps foreign tobacco growers stay above the breadline. These people would ironically be on benefits themselves if the present benefit claimants weren’t there to support them.

Guru can only hope the government took these considerations into account when it did the maths on getting a million people off benefits. That would be a lot of boil-in-the-bag curries left on the shelves (although it would, in turn, save the blind people from restacking them).

Comments are closed.